If you live in North Carolina and have been involved in a crash caused by another driver’s negligence, you may have a legal right to compensation for your losses. While money can’t undo the damage that has been done, it can help ease the financial burden of medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that often arise after an accident.
However, obtaining compensation can be a complex and challenging process, especially when it comes to medical bills. In this article, we will delve into who is responsible for paying for medical expenses after a car accident in North Carolina and what options you have for seeking compensation.
Auto Insurance Laws in North Carolina
North Carolina operates under a fault-based system for car accidents. This means that the driver who caused the accident is responsible for compensating anyone who suffered an injury or loss. These compensations cover medical bills, lost wages, lost property, pain, and suffering.
However, sometimes determining who is at fault can be complicated. In cases when both drivers share the fault, North Carolina utilizes a “contributory negligence” rule. This rule states that if a driver is found to have contributed in any way to the accident, they may not be able to recover any damages.
Who Pays Immediate Medical Bill Coverage?
Even though the end goal is to have the other driver’s insurance cover the medical bills resulting from their negligence, it’s essential to understand the process.
In most cases, the victim’s health insurance or car insurance policy will cover the initial medical bills. However, the victim will still have to pay the amount stated in their policy’s deductible. After this, the victim’s insurance company can pursue reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. But, if the victim doesn’t have insurance, they will have to pay the medical expenses out-of-pocket.
Once the at-fault driver’s insurance company agrees to pay, they’ll send a settlement offer that includes the medical bills’ reimbursement. It’s crucial to have a qualified Charlotte car accident lawyer to help negotiate a fair settlement for you. They’ll represent your interests and ensure that the insurance company pays the right amount that covers all the medical expenses.
What If the Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
According to the law, all drivers are required to carry auto insurance, but unfortunately, not all drivers follow this rule. Suppose you find yourself in a situation where your medical bills exceed the coverage limit of the at-fault driver’s policy or the driver does not have insurance. In that case, there are other options available to you.
Generally, drivers in North Carolina must have the minimum insurance coverage. Here are some examples:
- $30,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person in an accident
- $60,000 in bodily injury coverage in accidents involving two or more people
- $25,000 in property damage coverage
A common option is to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver or to seek compensation through their assets, such as their personal savings or property. However, navigating these legal processes can be complex, so it’s advisable to seek the help of a skilled attorney experienced in personal injury cases who can guide you through your options and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Who Pays for Further Necessary Medical Care?
It is important to understand that follow-up care after a vehicle accident can be a costly and time-consuming process. To continue receiving care, crash victims and their legal representatives may need to communicate with medical providers and request them to provide care with the understanding that they will be reimbursed through the eventual insurance settlement or jury verdict.
Though some providers may agree to this arrangement, they may decide to place a medical lien on any future settlement or verdict amount to ensure that they receive compensation.
To Wrap Things Up
The aftermath of an auto accident can be overwhelming and distressing. Besides the physical harm and emotional distress, victims may face loss of income and property damage. It is essential to have a solid understanding of the law and seek legal counsel.
A skilled personal injury attorney can provide the necessary support and guidance to recover rightful compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damages. In addition, working with an attorney ensures that your rights are protected and that justice is served, and your losses are paid.